VR(T) Commission Change


To be fair, our recruitment and selection process is a single weekend - hardly too much to ask. The rest of it is all training for the role. While your friend may have been a good instructor, they wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with how things are done in the ACF. To have them just transfer in with no training process would be madness.


@BTIactual I suspect the entire MOD is wishing they’d not done that…

@Gunner the Army keeps saying that SSIs can’t also be the CC; but it’s not written down yet. I am going grey waiting for the JSP313 rewrite (it’s been a lot longer than 3-4 years, I’ve been a CC for nearly 8…)


As the demands on us in our volunteering roles have increased in the day to day context (emails and the “on call 24/7” aspect) and mandatory course attendance (if we are to deliver activities everything needs a course and refreshers) could provide an interesting challenge to the MoD / HQAC in the context of WTD. It’s not just a summer camps, it’s weekend activities as well, most people work a nominal 40 hour week over 52 weeks, excluding overtime (shift patterns should have breaks built in), so if, by Friday, we have done our 40 hours we only have 8 hours open to us over the weekend (if we assume a 7 day working week) and as we all know weekends and week long camps invariably mean at least 12 hours per day, after which we go back to our day jobs, probably not at our best. I often joke that I come back to work for a rest after a week or weekend away with cadets, but it’s not too far from the truth.

While I don’t really think we should expect pensions and holiday pay, this change of status provides a watershed moment to get back to the very essence of volunteering in a youth organisation, freed of what has become the shackles of ‘you’re in the RAF’ mentality and ‘following orders’. Are a TCoS contractually binding on us? If so, what are the responsiblilities and boundaries of the those writing the TCoS and are they contractually bound. There is a sense that in the ATC it’s all give on our part and take on HQACs part, with nothing back.


This is very much in my mind. I look forward to hearing/reading what the new terms of commission will be before I sign on the dotted line, or if it is like my recent renewal say ‘yeah OK boss I’ll renew’ as I walk out the office to teach. Then once I know the new rules I can decide if uniform service is what is best for me going forward in the new world order


Should governments step in to regulate work emails and so rescue harassed staff from the perils of digital burnout? The answer in France appears to be “Yes”. President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party is about to vote through a measure that will give employees for the first time a “right to disconnect”.


The biggest problem with disconnecting is mobile phones etc which has developed a culture of being available 24/7 or ordinary people like us thinking they have to be available 24/7. I read a report or heard a story on the radio about not having mobiles on at night in the bedroom. A neighbour removes their teenage son’s mobile from his room each night as the updates and message about games and the several SM sites pinging meant he never slept properly. My mobile once I’m at home gets switched off, unless I need it on. Our kids respond to every “ping” as they feel they’ll miss out if they don’t, but they’re old enough to make the decision and have to live with the consequences if they are too tired etc.

What they are doing in France is a good thing as being constantly connected makes for a more stressed life. I’ve got mates who have to have their work phones with them all the time, which can’t be good and is quite irritating in the pub or if we are out for a meal.


The point about working hours is a good one, I have to register my work with cadets as a business interest at work and part of that entails telling them roughly how much I do. If this is likely to take me over the workingbtime directive I have to opt out of it through my primary employer.


The WTD or activity?


^ This - noting that Accounts form 80 is entitled “Claim for Pay – RAFVR(T) Officers and Warrant Officers and SNCO’s ATC” - I have always been convinced that we were a form or employee, but recognised that the potential issues of doing so could result in major changes.

Now that these changes have come about, then I could well imagine a number of people making this very claim before they go across to any other type of Commission.

I would suggest that a wholesale change to T&C’s (Commission and changes to remuneration) would result in an unlawful
breach resulting in : https://www.gov.uk/your-employment-contract-how-it-can-be-changed/dealing-with-problems however there are those on here more qualified to speculate on this.

I should point out that I am not suggesting that VR(T) are aligned with the new Reserves ‘deal’, but I think an easier way around this issue was to use the specific non callup liability in s2 of the RFA96 as the reason for why VR(T) are not entitled to the new deal.

Either way, it would appear that we are employed and the mess needs to be cleared up. As the_silverback alludes, I cannot see people being able to afford to do what they do in this new fashion.

Perhaps a major reboot is required? If this is continued to be fudged then I can see it escalating.


I will stick my neck out and wager that whilst they might appoint new Officer joiners to the CC as of 1st April, that any renewals post this date will be as VR(T) until the mess is resolved.


I wouldn’t do that, from what I have heard CAC and about half of the RC’s are in favour of 1 big change over on the 1st of April.


That sounds like a good hand-grenade to throw in the room; I’m aware of a couple of VRT who are planning not to renew as it is due to the change of comission.


I do believe when it comes to people of a certain rank now in the ACO the primary questions to anything is

  1. will it look good on Facebook/ Twitter
  2. can I get my picture with this somehow

If yes to both it’s a great idea to go with it!!
You read it here first…
1st Apr Facebook and twitters through out the organisation will have a picture of senior staff and their Dial-a-gang of officers grinning from ear to ear showing off what is meant to be the new commissioning parchment and a footnote in small letters to the end of the VR(T).

Regardless of personal feelings and pros and cons of the new commission, what concerns me greatly is the speed at which it’s being rolled out, has every potential problem been eliminated??


@noah_claypole @big_g I think forceably shifting everyone onto a CFC WEF 1 Apr could be legally dodgy; but only if it were proved that remunerated CFAVs are employees not volunteers (I am not advocating this however)

There was a case in 2011 where an ACF AI tried to use DDA95 to establish his employment, but it failed on a technical point of law in respect of the specifics of the claim. I think this was the first warning shot for MOD; and note the timing, this was during DYER which first recommended what is now the CFC.


I am not a lawyer, however, as an interested layman I could take an educated punt that - had the case been based on s212 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, and had the claimant argued that the payment of what is now VA created a mutuality of obligation (ie you must do 8hrs duty - or “work” - to be paid; and conversely, when doing 8hrs eligible duty - “work” - the MOD must pay you, arguably creating a contractual mutuality of obligation) the outcome could have been very different.


The EAT judgement in question alludes to this, if you look carefully; and s212 of ERA96 allows period of “unemployment” to count as continuity of service by arrangement & custom - ie short term, but regular “contracts”; whether supported by a physical contract or not. This is important as continuity of service leads to the relevant employment rights.


If I were in the dock, I would suggest that the conditions of payment of VA (an agreed payment for 8hrs work) represents a mutuality of obligation during the period of that “contract”. s212 of ERA96 then provides for continuity of service since 28-51 days “work” are spread throughout the year (year on year); thus conferring rights of employment, plus the fact that the payment is for a service performed (ie work), not a reimbursement of expenses (a la Chaudri).

So… if that were correct, and could be proved legally, there may be legal grounds for challenging a mass transfer to the CFC. However, since engagements - and thus, arguably, any contractual obligations - are relinquished on expiry, the likelihood is that; if you wanted to continue playing the game, you would have to re-engage on new the terms …so lots of dramas for little gain (1-5yrs) if any (you might find HM no longer required your services on reengagement!)

As such, my jury is firmly out. I suspect - if there were to be a mass transfer come 1 Apr - the majority would acquiesce and/or crack on for the good of the Corps.


EDIT - maybe not!! Seems the 8hrs duty issue has already been found not to provide mutuality of obligation http://www.elyplace.com/docs/news/Bray-judgment-volunteers.pdf

How does a zero-hours contract provide legal mutuality of obligation?..


BTI, i think that most like me will continue
But I have a lingering suspicion the corps may come to a sudden halt if checks are not in place and given the speed we are moving at I don’t think they have been.

Shooting, remember the chaos with VR(T) only moving weapons and ammo, has it been checked that CFC staff will be able to do this?

Security clearance, will it be transferred over or have OCs to hand in their armoury keys until it’s done again?

Flying /gliding will CFC staff be ok to fly RAF aircraft??

Will CFC staff be insured, able to drive MoD vehicles will our FMT600s be transferred?

Some people may laugh at this list (some people could add to it) but it’s all about legal definitions, to move staff from VR(T) to CFC may be the tip of the iceberg, the corps need to ensure the admin is updated to keep us doing the work for the cadets and that could take a bit longer.


My renewal back in 2013 was for 5 years in the RAFVR(T). Doesn’t expire until February 2018 so how do they plan to change my current T&C’s before then without appropriate consultation?..


Exactly, and doing so mid term is something you could challenge via a service complaint. How ironic!


Who said it needs a service complaint?


Replying to myself - odd…

Seems zero hours contracts may - or may not - depending on the contract, provide mutuality of obligation http://www2.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2013/10/03/zero-hours-contracts-offer-some-employment-protection.aspx

@Gunner - good question, well presented. If a relationship of employment can be proved, they probably can’t. If there is no relationship - contract - of employment, they probably can. The issue of mutuality of obligation is key. However, there has to be a reason why this is being pursued relentlessly to a short deadline.


Do you think HQAC would listen to you? And an employment tribunal wouldn’t get very far without formal legal interpretation on the matter (and thus very costly to you).